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Life is Strange: Double Exposure looks great, but where’s Chloe Price?

Chloe Price is famously absent from the Life is Strange: Double Exposure trailer, but I think she’s still around, albeit not in the way you might hope.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure Chloe image showing Chloe in between Max's hands

At the Xbox Showcase during Summer Game Fest 2024, Square Enix and Deck Nine blew Life is Strange fans away with the reveal of a new entry in the series, but what’s even more surprising is that the game, dubbed Life is Strange: Double Exposure, features none other than Max Caulfield. The protagonist from the first game in 2015 takes center stage once more, caught up in yet another murder mystery.

Now, that’s all well and good, with the Life is Strange: Double Exposure fan reactions saying all you need to know about her inclusion – Max is back, and people (for the most part) couldn’t be happier about that. I’m one of those people. Max Caulfield holds a very special place in my heart, being the first protagonist from one of my favorite franchises, but there’s a very particular reason why I love her so much.

It goes hand in hand with why another character is also important to me and the community at large, Chloe Price. Max and Chloe’s friendship (and eventual relationship, should you play your cards right or read the licensed comics) is a focal point for Life is Strange, and it’s the duo that I couldn’t help but fall in love with. So, I can only echo the sentiments of LiS fans worldwide: where is Chloe?

While the title of the game gives it away, for some people, it isn’t until the trailer tells them that Max Caulfield is back that they realize the girl from the trailer is her. Well, unless you have a keen ear, as Hannah Telle reprises her role as the time-bending girl (we can but hope Ashly Burch returns as Chloe). I absolutely lost my mind at the revelation of this being Max. Though the resemblance is there when you realize who she is, it’s very fair not to recognize her.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure Chloe - Max stood next to a kneeling woman who might be Chloe

With that in mind, perhaps Chloe is present in the game, present in the trailer, and you simply can’t recognize her. However, I’m operating under a different assumption, though I wouldn’t complain if her inclusion is obvious and I’m just not seeing the ‘new’ her. Before I get into my theory, allow me to take you back to the concluding minutes of Life is Strange.

A storm rages on, and a devastating tornado approaches Arcadia Bay while Max and Chloe stand atop a cliff next to a lighthouse, out of the tornado’s danger zone. Max faces a callous choice, a decision you may know as bae or bay. You must choose between Chloe and the town – you seal the fate of Arcadia Bay should you save her, costing the lives of many innocent people. If you don’t, you let go of someone who has become undeniably precious to you.

It’s a tough choice. For the sake of clarity, I once chose the bay ending. It destroyed me and left me a blubbering mess. That’s not my canon. I always prefer to save Chloe. I see the picture of her and Max on David’s fridge in LiS2, I catch the hints in True Colors: Wavelength, and I own all of the comics in which Max very much chose to save her best friend.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure Chloe - Max stood in the snow in front of police caution tape

So, knowing all of that, I can’t help but force myself to face the possibility that Deck Nine is opting to go in the other direction, giving us a world where this is Max years after choosing to save Arcadia Bay, to an extent, at least. If this assumption is correct, I still believe Chloe is present in Double Exposure, and here’s why.

We know that there are two realities Max must shift between when trying to solve the murder of her friend, Safi. In one reality, the murder has happened, while in the other, it’s yet to take place. What if Chloe Price is still alive in this other reality? It’s entirely plausible that Deck Nine is following both prospective LiS endings through the two timelines.

Chloe is way too big a character and so crucial to who Max is at the end of the first game that it seems incomprehensible that Deck Nine isn’t including her in Double Exposure. If I’m right in my theory (of which I’m sure there are many others out there), it’ll be like the good old days in one reality, with the duo working together to save Max’s friend, while in the other, Max is alone – she’s trying to solve the murder of one friend, while still grieving the loss of another from years prior.

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There’s a lot of emotional baggage in this theory. Max would see what life could have been like had she chosen to save Chloe instead of putting Arcadia Bay first. We already know that there are some serious choices for you to make in Double Exposure; what if one pertains to which reality Max lives in at the end of the game? (I’ll be calling for a LiS game named after me, if that’s the case, to commemorate my psychic abilities) What if working with Chloe once more opens up old feelings?

Of course, I could be way off course, and it might be as simple as that Chloe is part of the game in both realities, Deck Nine is following the bae ending, and the team is just keeping Chloe’s involvement under wraps for the time being. Regardless of Chloe’s part, it makes sense to hide her and keep the community guessing for engagement. Showing off Max is enough to drive the initial wave of excitement, while the lack of Chloe causes a distinct intrigue that’s sure to have people follow Double Exposure closely.

There’s one more theory that interests me, and it comes from the mind of our staff writer, Daz. They think the second reality Max finds herself in may have Chloe alive and well, but unlike my theory of the pair being together following the bae ending, they think Max might enter a realm where Rachel never died either. Longtime LiS fans know what this could mean if it turns out to be true – Max and Chloe never got together, maybe never even reunited, as Chloe ends up with Rachel. Perhaps the pair found their way to California after all.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure Chloe - Max faced with a choice in-game

It would change the dynamics of Max and Chloe’s relationship in a profound way. Imagine Max finding the one she loves alive and well in that second reality, but she has to watch her be with someone else, with the girl she tried to help Chloe find in the first game. It’s a very intriguing thought, and I’m keen to see if Daz’s theory has any truth to it.

Who knows, perhaps Chloe is very much alive in both timelines. In the main one, she’s still with Max, working together to solve Safi’s murder, while in the second, she’s present, but Daz’s theory comes to fruition, and she’s with Rachel. It would be interesting to see Max handle being with her girlfriend in one reality and then having to watch her with someone else in the second – all while trying to save her new friend. Things can never be simple around Max Caulfield. The girl should probably come with a warning label when making new friends.

I’ll be highly surprised and, admittedly, sorely disappointed should Chloe not appear in the upcoming game. However, until the Life is Strange: Double Exposure release date arrives or Deck Nine divulges some crucial information, it’s hard to say where Chloe is. Either way, it’s going to be a long few months, but I’m eager to see what theories other LiS fans come up with.

Should you be new to the series or need a refresher on past events, check out our Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection review to learn more about the history of Max and Chloe.